One of my photos

Two thousand??

March 4th, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 3 Comments · Life

I am finding this story hard to believe.  I am not saying that I think it is not true – I do not know enough about truck specifications have a qualified opinion – just that it is hard to believe, in the same way that it is hard to believe that something the size of an airliner can fly.What they are saying is that somebody stole 2,000 litres of fuel from a council depot, from four refuse lorries.  This means that the fule tank capacity of those lorries would have to be 500 litres each at the very minimum. That is, assuming they all had 500 litre tanks and were all topped up to the brim when they were left.  That sounds like a lot of fuel for a vehicle that is not doing long-distance journeys.  If they are doing something like 10-12 mpg then that gives them a range of 1100 to 1300 miles.

Does a dustcart need that sort of range?  If I had been asked to guess how much fuel a refuse lorry could carry I would have guessed about 200 litres.

The other thing that is niggling me is that the thft is said to have taken place overnight between 8pm and 7am.  Assuming that thieves started at 8pm on the dot and carried on until 7am they would have had to siphon fuel at the rate of 3 litres a minute for every single minute – a litre every 20 seconds.  And that is not allowing time to wait until the coast is clear, break in, transfer fuel to whatever is being used to carry it away, and clear off before the depot staff arrive.

Maybe we really do have council lorries with a range well over 1000 miles, and maybe we do have thieves capable of stealing that much in that time.  Stranger things have happened, but it still doesn’t add up.

Any truck-spotters and/or experienced fuel-stealers who can add anything to help me?

Tags: ··

3 Comments so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    I know nothing of fuel stealing or trucks but I do know that the fuel rigs for F1 pump fuel at something like 12l per second. Also I have a feeling the council depot by my workplace has a fuelling area with underground storage so maybe they stole from 4 trucks and the storage area. More likely but doesn’t sound as amusing in a news story (and I obviously don’t believe all news stories are written just to sound good…)

  • Skuds

    I doubt that council depots feel the need for 10-second pit stops when they want to fill their trucks up.

    Trying to imagine how big a container you would need to cart away 2000 litres (yes I know… it’s easy maths but I can’t be bothered)

    It all sounds like a lot of effort to put into the theft of something with a value of about £2000.

  • Rob Glover

    The hydrogen turbopumps for the SSME’s (Space Shuttle Main Engines) run at 36,000 rpm and pump at 1,070 litres per second per engine.
    Nothing to do with your post, but a great statistic that I felt like sharing with you!